Lutheran Hour Ministries Offering Two Advent Devotions in 2013

This year Lutheran Hour Ministries offers two seasonal devotions for Advent. The first, The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us, is written by Rev. Wayne Palmer, LHM's theological editor and writer. The second, Advent People: Waiting for the Coming Savior, is penned by Pastor Lonie Eatherton.

In The Word Became Flesh, Palmer mines the Gospel of John for its wealth on the Savior's life. Typically, when we celebrate Jesus' birth, we think about Gabriel's announcement to Mary; Joseph and Mary's trek to Bethlehem and Jesus' lowly birth; the angels joyous proclamation to the shepherds; and the wise men visiting the King of the Jews from afar, according to Palmer.

Per John's narrative strategy, however, Christ's birth is rendered "from a different point of view," Palmer said. In the fourth Gospel we are immediately informed of Jesus' divinity, His creative power, and His timelessness. Spoken of as the One heralded in the Old Testament, in John's Gospel and writings Jesus is referred to as the One who has become flesh and dwelt among us, "full of grace and truth" (see John 1:14).

The second of LHM's Advent devotions, Advent People: Waiting for the Coming Savior, is a meditation for young people. Here Eatherton illuminates a procession of Old Testament characters such as Adam, the sons of Noah, Deborah, David, Daniel and more, all the way to Zechariah. He chronicles their march through the centuries, awaiting the Branch of Jesse, the promised Messiah, the Babe of Bethlehem.

A four-verse poem and a prayer of gratitude complement each day's Scripture reading. Each component highlights the Old Testament person, who trusted in God as he or she looked to the fulfillment of His promises. "I thought it would be cool for kids to see with each passing Advent day, a timeline that grew closer and closer to the time of Jesus' birth," Eatherton said.

Both The Word Became Flesh and Advent People can be downloaded, customized and printed to give to congregation members or to use as an outreach tool. The Word Became Flesh is also available to read online or can be received via e-mail subscription throughout the Advent season. An audio version of The Word Became Flesh will be available beginning Dec. 1 or you can receive it as a podcast.